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South African television viewers won't be seeing 3D television anytime soon, with any real 3D TV service or channel(s) at least 2 to 3 years away if not longer. The country's most likely broadcaster of 3D, MultiChoice, is taking a wait-and-see approach, erring on the side of caution and waiting for more international research and viewer reaction as well as uniform standards and technology to be adopted.
DStv Media Sales told advertisers, ad buyers and media planners in South Africa that real 3D TV services in South Africa, for instance the possibility of creating and broadcasting 3D TV commercials, is still a way off - and that it will take ''at least 2 to 3 years if not a bit longer for any content in 3D to really be broadcast''.
''Too many things are still undecided regarding 3D technology and how viewers interact with this in front of their television sets. The approach we've taken is that it's not wise to invest in first generation technology while no definite standards, globally, really exist yet. Standards, techonology and applications could change and then money have been invested in infrastructure, technology, formats and systems that could suddenly be obsolete.''
''Things that work really well and will probably be first to go 3D would be 'events' television like sport broadcasts and things like your National Geographic documentaries, some of which look really well in 3D. The problem is that not a lot of quality content's currently being produced in 3D to sustain such a channel full-time,'' said DStv Media Sales during its Tech Update to the industry. ''Also the way 3D TV works is that its not really in HD. Meanwhile HD is the way the industry and we are moving. So there's bandwidth and other technological issues and standards that still need time to be formally worked out on an international level first.''
''There's also the consumer experience, said DStv Media Sales. ''You don't want to introduce technology viewers struggle with or for which you don't have the right TV sets. There's some reports that some viewers get 'seasick' from watching 3D and other issues like glasses and TV sets. However, 3D is coming, and it is exciting, and it is looked at, but it's still a way off,'' DStv Media Sales told ad agencies and media planners.
Meanwhile ESPN Research & Analytics unveiled one of the most in-depth studies of 3D TV to date with research conducted by dr Duane Varan, professor of New Media at Murdock University.
Dr Duane Varan will be in South Africa and will be sharing the findings of this 3D TV study in a keynote address entitled A Changing Media Landscape on 26 September. This event organized by CNBC Africa (DStv 410) will also be broadcast on the business channel (on a later date) with Natascha Jacobsz who will be interviewing dr Duane Varan on the day of the event.